UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize

Created in 1997, the annual UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize honours a person, organization or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and, or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, and especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger.

Awarded anually, the $25,000 Prize is named in honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper El Espectador in Bogotá, Colombia on 17 December 1986. It is funded by the Guillermo Cano Isaza Foundation (link is external) (Colombia) and the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation (link is external) (Finland).

The Prize is awarded on the recommendation of an independent international jury. The jury consists of six independent members, representing all types of media including digital media, one from each of the six regions as defined by UNESCO, in other words six persons appointed in their individual capacity by the Director-General of UNESCO for a period of three years, renewable once.

The Prize winner is selected by the Director-General of UNESCO on the basis of the assessments and recommendations made to him/her by the jury.

Eligible applicants
Eligible candidates are individuals, organizations or institutions who have made a significant contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, and especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger. Prizes may be conferred upon individuals, institutions, other entities or non-governmental organizations representing all types of media including digital media. Any nomination not submitted according to the Regulations of the Prize will be excluded, including self-nominations.
 
The Prize was established on the initiative of UNESCO's Executive Board and is formally conferred by the Director-General of the Organization, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, on 3 May.
It is named in honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper El Espectador in Bogotá, Colombia on 17 December 1986.

UNESCO invites the governments of Member States, in consultation with their National Commissions, as well as international and regional professional non-governmental organizations, active in the field of press freedom, to nominate candidates for next year’s UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.

This Prize was established by UNESCO’s Executive Board, in 1997, in honour of Guillermo Cano, a Colombian journalist who died in the exercise of his profession. Its purpose is to reward each year a person, organization or institution that has made a notable contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially if risks have been involved.

Awarded annually, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day (3 May), the Prize is marked by a ceremony and the winner is presented with the sum of US$25,000.

The Prize is funded by the Cano Foundation (Colombia) and the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation (Finland).

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